Former UK prime minister Ted Heath accused of picking up a 12-year-old hitchhiker and raping him

Ted heath
Ted Heath listens to a speech about health issues at the Conservative Party Conference in Bournemouth October 3, 2000. Reuters / Jonathan Evans

Former UK Prime Minister Ted Heath — who died in 2005 at age 89 — has been accused of picking up a 12-year-old hitchhiker in 1961 and raping him, according to The Mirror.

Heath was a Conservative MP at the time. The Mirror says the unnamed boy — now a man of 64 — was a runaway, trying to get a ride to London. Years later he recognised a photo of Heath in the newspaper and reported the assault to social workers but no one believed him.

The pair spent the night together, and the man was even able to describe details of the inside of Heath’s Mayfair flat:

“I stuck my thumb out as I walked….when a car pull up and the window was lowered and the driver asked me where I was going. I told him the West End (of London) and he told me to get in the car.”

… “I noticed photos of yachts on the wall but one thing that intrigued me was a silver stick in an open box on a sideboard.

“I asked him what it was and he told me it was a conductor’s baton. It made him laugh when I said I had never seen a bus conductor with a baton. He explained it was an orchestra’s conductor’s baton.”

Ted heath
Former Prime Ministers Lady Thatcher and Edward Heath listen to speeches at the 115th Conservative Party conference in Bournemouth in this file photograph dated October 7, 1998. Britain’s police watchdog said on Monday it will investigate allegations that detectives failed to pursue a complaint of child sexual abuse made against former Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath in the 1990s. Heath was Prime Minister between 1970 and 1974 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1975 when he lost the leadership to Thatcher. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

The Daily Record (The Mirror’s sister paper) says two separate police investigations into Heath were shut down in the 1970s. In one, Heath was alleged to have been seen at a house that child abusers frequented. In another, allegations from a brothel keeper were hushed up, The Daily Record reports:

The madam, believed to have been arrested in the 1990s for running a secret sex den, told detectives she would stand up in court and reveal lurid details of the Tory politician’s perverted sex life if she was ever charged with any offence.

The woman was due to stand trial but senior officers at Wiltshire Police are believed to have intervened and immediately dropped the case against her.

Heath, the Conservative prime minister from 1970 to 1974, was named on the record by police as the focus of a new investigation yesterday.

Edward Ted Heath

The announcement looks like authorities may be making progress in solving the mystery of whether Britain’s government hid a network of high-ranking child abusers in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Wiltshire police said they will investigate both a claim of child abuse against Heath made in the 1990s, and why police failed to pursue that claim at the time it was made:

Following the announcement today regarding an independent investigation by the IPCC into allegations concerning how Wiltshire Police handled an alleged claim of child sex abuse made in the 1990’s, we are carrying out enquiries to identify if there are any witnesses or victims who support the allegations of child sex abuse.

On becoming aware of the information, Wiltshire Police informed the IPCC and later made a mandatory referral. The IPCC investigation will specifically consider how the Force responded to allegations when they were received in the 1990’s.

Rumours of child abuse in the British government go back decades:

The Guardian noted, archly, that “Heath, who was prime minister for four turbulent years, never married and was famously reticent about his private life.” The Telegraph and Sky News reported the rumours that he was gay but had never come out of the closet.

Wiltshire police said it would lead the investigation:

Sir Edward Heath has been named in relation to offences concerning children. He lived in Salisbury for many years and we would like to hear from anyone who has any relevant information that may assist us in our enquiries or anyone who believes they may have been a victim.

The government has already started two other investigations into historic allegations of abuse by politicians. New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard has been appointed to look into the entire universe of the alleged Westminster conspiracy. Thousands of people are expected to testify, according to The Guardian. In December, Scotland Yard was given a document that contains names of 22 high profile figures, including three serving MPs and three members of the House of Lords, alleged to be involved in the suspected Westminster paedophile ring during the 1970s and 1980s.

And Home Secretary Theresa May demanded a review the loss of the dossier under Brittan. That probe concluded that it could not be proven what happened to the file.

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